Brett Favre celebrates his first-quarter touchdown pass to Packers teammate Andre Rison in Super Bowl XXXI against the Patriots at the Louisiana Superdome on Jan. 26, 1997 in New Orleans. The Packers won, 35-21.
Brett Favre is being inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame this weekend and having his jersey retired later this year.
To honor one of Green Bay’s most beloved players — and one of football’s most polarizing – we present some of Favre’s top moments in a six-part series. Appropriately, there are 4 listed in each category.
Part I: Top wins and losses
TOP 4 WINS
4. Sept. 2, 1989: During his junior year of college, Favre — at this point neither a well-known nor highly regarded quarterback — led Southern Mississippi to a 30-26 upset victory over then-No. 6 Florida State (the Seminoles would finish at 10-2 and No. 3 in the country). In the fourth quarter, he marshalled a more than six-minute scoring drive, finishing it by throwing the game-winning touchdown pass with only 23 seconds left. The first truly great Favre comeback.
3. Sept. 20, 1992: In the third game of Green Bay’s season, after starting quarterback Don Majkowski severely hurt his ankle against the Cincinnati Bengals, Favre replaced him. He fumbled four times in the game and was booed by the home crowd. And yet, with 1:07 remaining in the game and the Packers trailing 23-17, Favre led them on a remarkable drive beginning at their own 8-yard line. Shortly after an important 42-yard completion to Sterling Sharpe, he threw the game-winning touchdown pass to Kitrick Taylor with 13 seconds on the clock for his first professional win.
2. Sept. 16, 2007: Early on in a season that would yield a few more big wins (the Packers would go on to the NFC Championship Game) and broken records (Favre would set the NFL’s all-time mark for touchdown passes, among others), the quarterback led Green Bay to a 35-13 victory over the New York Giants. It was Favre’s record-setting 149th win, which passed John Elway for the most in league history. He did it in impressive fashion, too, completing 76.3 percent of his passes with three touchdowns.
1. Jan. 26, 1997: In Super Bowl XXXI, Favre led a dominant Packers team to the franchise’s first championship since the Lombardi years. Famously, on the game’s second play, Favre called an audible and unleashed a 54-yard touchdown throw to receiver Andre Rison. In the second quarter, he connected with Antonio Freeman on an 81-yarder that was then a Super Bowl record for longest touchdown pass. Favre was 14 of 27 for 246 yards with two touchdown passes and a rushing score in Green Bay’s 35-21 victory over the New England Patriots.
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TOP 4 LOSSES
4. Jan. 4, 2003: From Vince Lombardi and Bart Starr to Mike Holmgren and Brett Favre, the Packers had for years been unbeatable in the playoffs at home. From 1957 until 2003, they had not lost a postseason game at Lambeau Field. In the wild-card round of the playoffs against the Atlanta Falcons, however, Favre helped end that streak. He threw two interceptions and lost a fumble in Green Bay’s 27-7 upset loss.
3. Jan. 20, 2008: After winning the NFC North and defeating the Seattle Seahawks in the divisional round, Green Bay hosted the NFC Championship Game in subzero temperatures. Favre started the game with a bang, completing a pass to Donald Driver for an 80-yard touchdown (the longest play in Packers playoff history) for a 7-6 lead. He’d later throw another score, as well as an interception. But he crushed Green Bay’s Super Bowl hopes in overtime, when, on the second play after winning the coin toss to start with the ball, he threw an interception that the Giants returned to the Packers’ 34-yard line. Not much later, New York kicked the game-winning field goal.
2. Jan. 24, 2010: After leading the Vikings to a 12-4 record and the NFC Championship Game, Favre faced the New Orleans Saints with another chance to get back to the Super Bowl. Unfortunately for him, old habits would again torpedo that dream, as his 310 yards and a touchdown were mitigated by two interceptions and a lost fumble. Just like two years prior, Favre’s final pass was picked off. The game went into overtime, and he never got the ball back. In the loss, he set the league record for most playoff interceptions.
1. Jan. 25, 1998: Favre and the Packers made it to Super Bowl XXXII, back to defend the title they’d won the previous year. But despite being favored by 13 points and the Gunslinger’s best efforts, Green Bay fell to Elway’s Denver Broncos, 31-24, in one of the biggest championship upsets in NFL history. Favre was 25 of 42 for 256 yards and three touchdowns, but he also had an interception and a fumble in the game, which was the last time he’d play in a Super Bowl.